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Monument record MDR394 - Buxton Pavilion Gardens, Buxton

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

Public pleasure gardens by Edward Milner of 1871. Extended 1880 by Adam Hogg. Pavilion of cast iron by Milner and long wing of winter garden. Octagonal concert hall of 1875 by R.R. Duke. Paved promenade. Picturesque and gardenesque park. River Wye damned to provide ponds, cascades, boating lake 1880. Cast iron bridge over river. Formerly bandstands and pavilions. Serpentine walks to west also by Milner. Formerly railways surrounded the park. (1, 2) Pavilion garden features by Milner included on County Treasures list. Various features survive from his design, including two bridges, a circular walk, lime trees and the remains of a bandstand. (3) The Pavilion Gardens originated during the rapid expansion of Buxton following the arrival of the railway in 1863. In 1871 the Duke of Devonshire gave 12 acres of land to the newly formed Buxton Improvements Company, who commissioned Edward Milner to design the gardens, together with an iron and glass pavilion. The Pavilion Gardens were intended to be the recreational centre of the resort and, by providing shelter and other amenities, to extend the season for visitors and to provide a suitable building in which a band could play in wet weather. The gardens were further extended southwards under the supervision of the curator Adam Hogg and included a number of features, such as rockery and fernery, which no longer remain. The park is still very much a public pleasure garden. The bandstand and formal flower gardens have gone, but the inventive use of different ground levels, bridges sometimes crossing water and sometimes crossing grassy paths below, the grouping of trees and the various treatment of water to create interesting focal points, are all devices originally used here by Milner but today used even more extensively. (4) The Pavilion Gardens, Buxton, are the most recent manifestation of a long history of public landscaping in the spa town, undertaken largely at the behest of the dukes of Devonshire. Among the most outstanding elements of this history, still visible on the site, are: extensive tree planting in and around Buxton in the late 18th/early 19th century; continuing enhancement of the environment under the direction of Joseph Paxton, c. 1830s-1850s (this is possibly very early evidence of Paxton's public landscaping); design of the Winter Gardens and surrounding park by Edward Milner in 1871, then at the height of his career; later development of the site in 1880 by Robert Rippon Duke and the Head Gardener, Adam Hogg. (5) There are three ornate lamp posts on the Pavilion Promenade that have the Buxton coat of arms on the base and have ornamental lamp brackets. There are also two matching lamp brackets on the Pavilion itself. (6) Buxton Spa Orchestra plays daily [writing in 1950] under the direction of Frank Waterhouse, and is known to thousands of regular visitors for its excellent composition and programmes. The Orchestra season usually commences Whit-Saturday and extends to the end of September. Friday evenings are devoted to Symphony Concerts, when leading soloists are engaged. The evening concerts on Saturdays and Sundays, also Sundays have vocalists of the highest repute. Buxton is well known as a conference centre and many important conferences have been held during recent years (1950). Comprised of 23 acres of grounds, the property of the Buxton Corporation, is renowned throughout the country for its beauty and artistic planning. Luxurious flower beds, well-kept lawns and shaded walks combine to make a visit to the Gardens a delightful pleasure and providing a perfect setting for relaxation. The Pavilion has a magnificent ballroom, with dancing accomodation for 2000 people. Modern and Olde Tyme dancing are both provided and Tea Dances are a feature throughout the year. Such leading dance bands such as Joe Loss, Ted Heath, Blue Rockets, Harry Davidson, Billy Ternent, Harry Gold and the Squadronnaires have appeared in the Pavilion. (7)

Sources/Archives (7)

  • <1> Article in serial: Anthony, J. 1976. Gardens of Britain 1976. 6.
  • <2> Unpublished document: DCC Historic Parks and Gardens file 5506.1.1.
  • <3> Unpublished document: County Treasure Recording Form. 20.1, with photos.
  • <4> Article in serial: Carder, J. 1982. 'The work of Edward Milner in Derbyshire', Journal of the Bakewell & District Historical Society. No. IX (Jan), pp 82-105.
  • <5> Unpublished document: Parklands Consortium Ltd. 1996. Pavilion Gardens, Buxton. Grounds Development Plan. Vols I and II. (Draft).
  • <6> Unpublished document: County Treasure Recording Form. 14.1, with photos.
  • <7> Bibliographic reference: Borough of Buxton Publicity Department. 1950. Buxton, The Spa of Blue Waters.



Grid reference Centred SK 05 73 (911m by 547m) Approximate

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

  • EDR2558

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Record last edited

Oct 4 2023 4:36PM

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